Reduce, reuse, recycle. Wherever there is a huge shift in public opinion – such as our conscious effort to try to be more environmentally friendly – trends in decorating are sure to follow. From IKEA to Pottery Barn, the distressed, shabby chic, upcycled look is growing in popularity. Widespread poor craftsmanship on newer items, compared to their older counterparts, are causing us to integrate upcycling into our interior design. But what is upcycling and is it the new décor trend that is not only good for the planet, but also the definition of trendy for our homes?
What is Upcycling?
Upcycling is the art of creating new products from existing materials. The trend is key in sustainability and encourages us to be more conscious about our waste while also unlocking our creativity with what we can achieve from unwanted items. Upcycling projects include finding unwanted and shabby wooden furniture and giving it a makeover, creating candle holders from old glass jars, turning old ladders into shelves, turning old jeans into a bag, using an old dish rack as a magazine holder, or even making artwork from old toilet roll tubes, tin cans, or unwanted scraps of fabric. Not only are we looking towards upcycling as a way to reuse old things or save money, but many start-ups are turning upcycling into a business. These include Looptworks, who helps companies find uses for their discarded items and Baabaazuzu who has become the name in wool upcycling. The trend looks to be just beginning.
— Jon Sorce (@sonjorce) January 6, 2019
We’re all about upcycling, especially when it comes to big furniture items that would be pricey to replace! This simple Ikea dresser was given a facelift with new drawer pulls and some pretty patterned wallpaper: https://t.co/CjgXvBEy4u pic.twitter.com/Saw4pNLbM7
— 2460 Peachtree (@2460Peachtree) December 17, 2019
Do I Need Help for Larger Upcycling Projects?
Upcycling doesn’t just have to revolve around small pieces in your home. You can undertake larger projects such as renovating an old bathroom with the help of a handyman. You could for instance replace your bathtub with a clawfoot tub found at a yard sale, your sink with other items – including even a bicycle according to Pinterest – or renovate old copper pipes to create a New York City-style look. For the bigger projects, make sure the handyman you’ve chosen to work with has proper handyman insurance. Don’t forget that there are always risks associated with DIY projects, especially when they involve renovating carpets and floors, pipework, or even a whole bathroom or kitchen.
Waste is something we are more conscious about, so finding new uses for things we don’t want anymore and making them look good helps combat two issues at once. Some projects can be done quickly and efficiently, while others might take longer and may even require someone to help out. Finding an enjoyment in upcycling could even give you another string to your bow if you decide to do it for other people on a larger scale as a small business or sole trader. Luckily, what is best for the planet and what is fashionable are beginning to line up.